- 1791 The Constitution of May 3 (the first modern constitution in Europe) is proclaimed by the Sejm of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
- 1851 Most of San Francisco destroyed by fire; 30 die
- 1926 British General Strike: Trade Union Congress calls for a general strike 1 minute to midnight to support striking coal miners
- 1937 Margaret Mitchell wins Pulitzer Prize for "Gone With the Wind"
- 1945 World War II: German ship "Cap Arcona" laden with prisoners sunk by Royal Air Force in East Sea, 5,800 killed - one of largest maritime losses of life
- 1947 Japan's post-war constitution goes into effect, granting universal suffrage, stripping Emperor Hirohito of all but symbolic power and outlawing Japan's right to make war
First unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail ("spam") is sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the US west coast
On May 3, 1978